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TWU to recognize outstanding students at Honors Convocation


DENTON — Texas Woman’s University will recognize student artistry and academic excellence during Honors Convocation ceremonies Thursday, April 24. Convocation begins at 10 a.m. in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located at Oakland and Sawyer streets on TWU’s Denton campus.

Crystal Reyes of Houston will receive the Pauline Bishop Leman Memorial Award for outstanding artistic achievement. Outstanding Senior Awards, which are based on academic excellence and involvement in extracurricular activities, will go to Tiffanie Choate of Flower Mound, Christianne Kellett of Fort Worth, Michelle Savolainen of Coppell and Isabelle Sislak of Keller.
Debbie Arbique of DeSoto, Terri White of Lewisville and Joshua Wooten of Denton will receive Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.

Crystal Reyes

Ms. Reyes will graduate in fall 2008 with a bachelor of arts in dance with teacher certification. She plans to continue to work toward a master of fine arts degree in dance at TWU, and hopes to become a professional dancer.

Ms. Reyes is a member of both Dance Works, TWU’s pre-professional dance company, and the International Dance Company, which performs at campus and community events as well as lecture demonstrations at schools throughout Texas. She also was selected to perform and present programs with the International Dance Company at two National Dance Association conventions in Baltimore and Fort Worth. Ms. Reyes was named to “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities” in 2008. She is a member of the American College Dance Festival, as well as Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society and the Professional Association in Education.

“Over the past three years, I have had the extreme pleasure of watching Crystal grow into an artist beyond her years,” said Dr. Linda Caldwell, TWU associate professor of dance. “She has not only excelled academically, she has also used her talent and integrity to serve as a role model for other students.”

Tiffanie Choate

Ms. Choate will graduate in May with a bachelor of business administration degree with an emphasis in human resources. She holds a 3.886 grade point average.

Ms. Choate served as president of TWU’s Student Government Association (SGA) from 2005-07. During that time, she successfully led the university’s Fitness and Recreation Referendum initiative, which included giving presentations to the Texas State House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate. She was named an Outstanding Campus Leader in 2007. She is a member of TWU’s Honors Scholar Program, Alpha Omicron Pi International Fraternity, Gamma Beta Phi Honor and Service Society, Athenian Honor Society and Girl Scouts of America. She currently is the assistant manager of a large retail store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and plans to attend law school in the future.

“Tiffanie represents the best kind of student leader — one who maintains priorities, works hard and uses her talents to support her fellow students and university,” said Dr. Alfred G. Litton, director of the TWU Honors Scholar Program.

Christianne Kellett

Ms. Kellett will graduate in May with a bachelor’s of arts degree in government with an emphasis in legal studies and a bachelor's of science degree in marketing. She holds a 3.822 GPA, and plans to attend graduate school and earn a joint master’s degree in public affairs and business administration.

Ms. Kellett has served as the student regent on the TWU Board of Regents since February 2007. She was named an Outstanding Campus Leader in 2006-07 and served as SGA president in 2007-08. She is a member of the TWU Honors Scholar Program and the Athenian Honor Society, and was the sole student employee at the TWU Leadership Institute from 2006-07. Ms. Kellett also completed a congressional internship with U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess in 2007. She currently serves as an intern in cause-related marketing at the international headquarters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Dallas.

“Christianne is certainly one of the most driven and successful students I have known,” said Dr. David Rylander, associate professor in the TWU School of Management. “Along with her extensive accomplishments, she is also a good person and a joy to be around.”

Michelle Savolainen

Ms. Savolainen, a business management major, graduated summa cum laude in December 2007 with a 3.927 GPA. She currently is employed as a Project Management Assistant for Rail Signal Systems in Fort Worth and eventually plans to earn a master’s degree in business administration.
Ms. Savolainen was a member of TWU’s Honors Scholars Program and the Athenian Honor Society. She also was a member of the Golden Key Honour Society and Phi Kappa Phi, and held officer positions with Sigma Beta Delta, Kappa Epsilon Mu and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She received an Outstanding Campus Leader Award in 2006 and served as the senior editor of the research journal for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Ms. Savolainen was a member of TWU Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team from 2005-2007 and created the annual report for the 2007 SIFE Regional Competition. She also volunteers at Operation Kindness, a no-kill animal shelter in Carrollton.

“A hallmark trait of Michelle is that she shines in the academic and extra-curricular arena,” said Dr. Alfred G. Litton, director of TWU’s Honors Scholar Program. “Also impressive is the fact that she was able to maintain a nearly perfect GPA while also being one of the most active students on campus. She is precisely the kind of student we want representing TWU.”

Isabelle Sislak

Ms. Sislak, a nursing major, will graduate in May with a 3.9 GPA. She plans to work in the cardiac/intensive care unit of Harris Methodist Hospital and will pursue a master’s degree in nursing at TWU in the fall.

As a member of the Texas Nursing Students Association, Ms. Sislak helped raise money and buy supplies for school nurses in Dallas County elementary schools. She also worked with the March of Dimes, meeting with members of the Texas Legislature regarding children’s health issues. She tutored her fellow TWU students in pharmacology, and used that experience to develop and sell pharmacology review cards. The $3,000 raised through this project was donated to her graduating class pinning ceremony fund. Ms. Sislak also organized a review course for the College of Nursing exit exam.

“Without a doubt, Isabelle personifies excellence in nursing,” said Laurie Galatas, assistant clinical professor in the TWU College of Nursing at Dallas. “For Isabelle excellence is not defined solely by academic achievement. It encompasses the passionate pursuit of meaningful service to others and the deep desire to live life with integrity, humility, honor and character.

Debbie Arbique

Ms. Arbique, RN, a master’s candidate in nursing, holds a 3.76 GPA. After receiving her master degree, she plans to pursue a doctorate in nursing at TWU and also hopes to become an adjunct faculty member for TWU’s family nurse practitioner program.

Ms. Arbique is a member of the TWU’s Phi Kappa Phi Society and Sigma Theta Tau International — Honor Society of Nursing. She also received the TWU Virginia Chandler Dykes Award for Scholastic Achievement in 2007.

She is employed by the U.T. Southwestern Medical Center as the clinical nurse and case manager in the hypertension clinic and as a research nurse/research coordinator. Ms. Arbique also is a member of 13 different nurses associations including the Emergency Nurses Association,
International Association of Forensic Nurses and Texas Nurses Association.

“Debbie is an exceptional nurse and graduate student,” said Dr. Sherry Carter, associate professor and master’s program coordinator for TWU’s College of Nursing in Dallas. “I could always count on her exceeding expectations for herself, as well as mentoring other students to help them meet their educational goals. She is extremely deserving of this award.”

Terri White

Ms. White, RN, MS, FNP-C, a doctoral candidate in nursing, holds a 4.0 GPA. She plans to teach at the university level, while continuing to practice and perform research on osteoporosis and bone health among older adults.

Ms. White was one of two students from the U.S. and Canada to receive a Graduate Student Recognition Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) in 2007. She is a member of ARHP and Sigma Theta Tau International — Honor Society of Nursing. She has been published extensively, with articles appearing in “Pain Management Nursing,” “Research in Nursing and Health,” the “Journal of Nursing Scholarship” and the “Journal of Gerontological Nursing.”

“Terri has demonstrated a commitment to building a productive career as a faculty member, scholar and practitioner in nursing,” said Dr. Gail Davis, professor in the TWU College of Nursing in Denton. “Her work throughout the doctoral program distinguishes her as deserving of this prestigious award.”

Joshua Wooten

Mr. Wooten, a doctoral candidate in exercise physiology, holds a 3.753 GPA. He currently serves as a graduate teaching assistant for TWU’s Kinesiology Department and as a research associate for the TWU Institute of Women’s Health. Mr. Wooten’s research focuses on the prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes in women. He plans to teach and perform research at the university level, while promoting research to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Mr. Wooten was a Chancellor’s Research Scholar at TWU in 2005 and was named an Outstanding Ph.D. student by the TWU Department of Kinesiology that same year. The Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine also has recognized his research. Mr. Wooten is a member of TWU’s Phi Kappa Phi, the American Heart Association, American Physiological Society and the American College of Sports Medicine, where he has held several officer positions.

“Josh is not only a distinguished scholar, he excels in the classroom, as illustrated by the evaluations of his students,” said Dr. Kyle Biggerstaff, assistant professor and coordinator, exercise and sports nutrition for TWU’s Department of Kinesiology. “He is outstanding and well deserving of this award.”



Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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